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WaterRoof 3.2

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WaterRoof Editor's Review

WaterRoof is a frontend for the Mac OS X built in firewall, IPFW.

Without a tool like this, setting your firewall might be a challenge. If you are not an expert at working with the terminal, then this application can help you. The 'System Preferences' application also provides you a frontend, but that one is rather minimal.

The first thing that the application shows you is the rules list. There you can find all the defined rules, for both outgoing and incoming traffic, for your network interface.

A nice feature is the Bandwidth Manager window, where you can predefine some rules about the maximum permitted bandwidth for certain hosts. Adding a new pipe in the Bandwidth Manager requires some parameters such as the rule number, the number of slots, the delay (in milliseconds), the speed (in kilobits/second), the source and destination, as well as the source and destination ports, and some extra arguments.

The Rule Sets button provides you a whole list with predefined configurations. In that drop down list, you can find items like basic configuration with or without services, safe ICMP, transparent proxy, block nmap, block dangerous traffic, or limit bandwidth. The rule set for basic configuration and services has the support for services like FTP, SSH, HTTP, etc. The rule set for limiting the bandwidth also has the support for various network protocols.

One more tool that helps the beginners is called 'Wizard'. It's a simple wizard, which helps you define some basic firewall rules.

The Tools area has some features that can be used in order to tune other settings. There you can find control modules for a firewall's settings, a firewall log, and a startup script, and several features separate from these modules, which are in a miscellaneous category. These features include a button that opens the IPFW manual and a 'Flush rules and pipes' button. Another feature is the module that allows you to set the IP forwarding functionality.

Pluses: it provides you a simple interface that administrates a powerful and complex firewall, it can define rules and pipes very easily.

Drawbacks / flaws:

In conclusion: this interface can be very useful for users who aren't accustomed with the deep configuration of the IPFW firewall. Although, knowledge about how to configure is required. Otherwise, you might get a firewall that blocks everything.

version reviewed: 1.1

What's Required in Version 3.2 of WaterRoof

Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

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